THURSDAY, JUNE 16
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:30 PM
**This is a ticketed Benefit Show that supports BRIC’s free programming. See here for full 2022 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! lineup**
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*Please Note: Chairs will not be available at this show but you are permitted to bring your own.
Streamed over 2 billion times and handpicked by FIFA to lead their 2022 World Cup Soundtrack collaboration “Hayya Hayya (Better Together),” American born, Nigerian raised afrobeats icon Davido (born David Adedeji Adeleke) has cemented his position as a global force within the music scene. And the past 12 months capped off another banner year for the platinum artist including his second sold out show at London’s O2 Arena and the release of his third studio album, A Better Time, the critically acclaimed follow up to his 1.2 billion streaming 2019 release, A Good Time.
A Better Time, described by Davido as his most personal work was released at the end of 2020 and debuted on Billboards 200 album chart garnering over 560 million streams and producing certified hits High featuring Adekunle Gold, Holy Ground Ft. Nicki Minaj and Shopping Spree ft. Chris Brown & Young Thug. Shopping Spree marked Davido’s 10th entry on Billboard’s World Digital Song Chart, it was highlighted by millions of video views and attracted the praise of Rolling Stone, HighSnobiety, and Complex. In addition to both fan and critical acclaim, 2021 saw Davido’s U.S. visibility continue to soar with thrilling national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. With new music to be released in Spring 2022, the world is watching to see what Davido does next. But his success has not been easy, it has taken a tremendous amount of work.
Davido’s rise has been a building process, and 2019 was a powerful year for him. It saw him play his first sold out date at London’s O2 Arena – the first solo African artist to do this – creating mass hysteria across America with his smash hit single Fall which is now certified GOLD in the US and Canada. The song went on to have the longest run of an Afrobeats single on the Billboard Charts, and peaked across Shazam as one of the most searched songs in the States. To date the video for Fall sits as the No.1 Afrobeats music video with over 212 million views on YouTube Music – bringing his overall views across the platform to over 1 billion.
A citizen of the world, if anything has framed where Davido currently is, it would his “childhood.” The youngest of five, growing up with his parents in Lagos, Nigeria, he was “exposed” to the world. Across summer breaks he would travel to visit his siblings in London and Atlanta, the latter being home to some of the artists that today he can call his good friends and collaborators – YoungThug, Gunna, Lil Baby – and the home to some of his favourite rappers growing up – Ludacris, Nelly – the sounds of noughties Hip Hop that he “loved.” It was most likely these trips that would drive a love for music that reflected global ambition. This exposure to the world would in turn give Davido the opportunity to share with his University friends music from Nigeria, that he knew if “given a chance” would go global. This notion was actualized for him in hearing the “classic” album The Entertainer from Afrobeats maverick D’Banj that made Davido fall “in love with Afrobeats.” Spurred on further by watching his cousin and now hype-man Special work alongside the Mo’ Hits crew, the idea of becoming a musician became more of an attenable feat, and more attractive than an atypical route in academics.
Starting out releasing singles in a less conventional approach, that would probably leave most labels in doubt, Davido amassed a cult following across Nigeria, and in turn Africa. Despite being young his music was “stuff the older people could like” and so bridged the generational gap of those who enjoyed the classic sounds of Shina Peters but also the new take on Afrobeats. From his debut single Back When to Dami Duro it was not long before Davido struck gold with Skelewu, now boasting over 50 million streams and views. At the time admittedly “labels were still understanding” the Afrobeats resurgence, but the intrigue of the sound that was quickly spreading worldwide pricked the ears of A&Rs across the globe, and it was not long before Sony Music signed the Nigerian star. Nevertheless, David’s approach remained the same working with his go-to producers Shizzi and Kiddominant, to release enough music across the past 10 years to make 5 albums.
A faultless methodology catapulted David’s profile globally – as he knew was possible. Hi is lauded as the ‘King of Afrobeats’ by his “30 Billion Gang,” who have made him the most followed Afrobeats artist on social media across all platforms. He now holds a discography with over 2 billion global streams and 1 billion video views, earning over 30 awards internationally including the MOBO for Best African Act, the MTV EMA for Best African Act an Best International Act, two MTV Africa Music Awards, a BET Awards for ‘Best African Act’ and ‘Best International Act’ (2018), and two Nigerian Teen Choice Awards for ‘Top Featured Artist’ and ‘Choice Male Artist’. Successive hit singles If, Fall and Fia have seen recognition fawn in from around the world.
Retirement has not been an option for Davido, and for a long while, mentorship has become something dear to him; in the same way “D’Banj and 2Face” mentored him. Founding his DMW label in 2016, he nurtured the talents of Mayorkun, Peruzzi, Dremo, and many more. Mentorship and a familial approach to music is something that Davido attributes to the burgeoning Latin music scene – they “collaborate, tour together, and the streams grow.” This is something he feels could be a great addition to the African scene, as not “one person could do it on their own.”